Plasmons can be thought of as waves of electrons in a metal surface. More specifically, plasmons are charge density oscillations in a metal or other conductive materials. A light incident on a metal surface can generate plasmons similar to how wind incident on water can generate waves. Light can create plasmons, and the oscillating charges of plasmons can also generate light. The plasmonic-optical interactions give rise to interesting physics at the nanoscale. See also: What is a Plasmon?

Nano-optics or nanophotonics is the study of light on the nanoscale. Typically visible light is limited by the diffraction limit and cannot be focused down to sizes smaller that about half the wavelength of visible light, less than hundreds of nanometers. Nano-optics deals with ways to overcome this diffraction limit in order to manipulate light at scales that are smaller than 100 nm. Plasmonics is one area of nano-optics. Plasmonic nanostructures can focus light to regions that can be less than 10 nm! Additionally, focusing light to such a small, highly-localized volume also generate extremely large optical enhancements in this nanoscale region. These enhancements can be used for applications including single molecule detectors [1], enhanced spectroscopies [2], cancer treatment [3], and more efficient solar cells [4].

Herzog Plasmonic Nano Optics Lab

Research in the Herzog Plasmonic Nano Optics Lab consists of: See here for more information on these Research Projects and Areas.

Interested in being part of the research group? See How to join the Herzog Lab.


Sept 17, 2019 - Desalegn published with RCS - Desalegn's work has been published with the Royal Society of Chemistry. The paper titled Gate voltage and doping effects on near-field radiation heat transfer in plasmonic heterogeneous pairs of graphene and black phosphorene was accepted in the journal RSC Advances. Well done Desalegn!


Sept 11, 2019 - Herzog's student receive internships with DOD! - Meredith Magee and Miles Furr are back on campus after completing summer internships with the Department of Defense. Meredith participated in the High-Performance Computing Internship Program through the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio; and Miles participated in the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program at the Oceana Annex Base in Dam Neck, Virginia. Read more here.


Aug 1, 2019 - Article Published in a Nature Research journal! - An article with first-author Desalegn Debu has recently been published in npj 2D Materials and Applications, a Nature Partner Journal (npj) titled Hyperbolic plasmon-phonon dispersion on group velocity reversal and tunable spontaneous emission in graphene-ferroelectric substrate . Congrats to this accomplishment by Desalegn, and the rest of the Herzog group members for their support.


Jun 21, 2019 - Article Published - A project lead by Ahmad Darweesh has recently been published, titled Effect of incidence and sidewall taper angles on plasmonic metal–semiconductor–metal photodetector enhancements, in the Journal of the Optical Society of America B.


May 11, 2019 - Ahmad Graduates with PhD! - After puting in much hard work over the past few years, Ahmad has graduated with his PhD. Dr. Herzog was able to come to Fayetteville to celebrate with him. Cheers and well done!


Apr 24, 2019 - Dr. Herzog Selected as a Faculty Development Fellow - Dr. Herzog has been selected to serve as a Faculty Development Fellow at the University of Indianapolis for the 2019-2020 academic year. As noted on the Faculty Development website: Faculty Fellows are specially selected faculty from across the University who offer workshops and consulting to individuals and departments as they also seek to grow their own strengths as faculty developers.

Apr 13, 2019 - Miles and Meredith present at Conference in Illinois - UIndy students from the Herzog Group presented their work at the Conference of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship. Miles presentation was titled Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) with Subnanometer-Gap Metasurfaces and Meredith's presentation was titled Quantum Dots and Plasmonically Enhanced Photo Brightening. They did outstanding jobs, especially since they have only being in the group since last fall!


Principal Investigator

Joseph B. Herzog, PhD
Assistant Professor
R.B. Annis School of Engineering
University of Indianapolis

Full Bio

Email: herzogjb

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Indianapolis, IN 46227

UARK Lab: PHYS 106
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